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Taiwan: Stocks, US dollar fall as geopolitical risks rise


[TAIPEI] Taiwan stocks fell on Friday, in line with some regional peers, as a US missile strike in Syria raised geopolitical risks and as a widely-awaited summit between the leaders of the United States and China got underway.

As of 0331 GMT, the main Taiex index fell 0.5 per cent to 9,852.47, extending a 0.5 per cent loss in the previous session, while the local dollar weakened to a three-week low against the US currency.

The Taiwan dollar softened NT$0.09 to NT$30.650 per US dollar after touching NT$30.700 earlier in the session, its weakest level since mid-March.

On the bourse, losses were broad based, with the electronics subindex falling 0.5 per cent and the financials subindex losing 0.6 per cent.

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Among actively traded shares, large-cap electronics maker Hon Hai Precision, and Fubon Financial Holding were both off more than one per cent.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airfield from which a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched, declaring he acted in America's "vital national security interest" against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Investors were already on edge as Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida resort for talks on flashpoints such as North Korea and China's huge trade surplus with the United States.